I Hate Snakes

Overall, the weather in Maryland ran from super humid and overcast, to sudden sideways rain, to full-on car wash. Everything was damp, drippy, and sticky with humidity. My seaweed hair was out in full force.

St. George Landing, Piney Point, MD

I left my friend's house in what was some gentle rain and headed toward St. George Island. About 10 minutes into the drive the car wash rain started. I've never experienced anything quite like it before. It rains hard in Maine, but this was a Nor'Easter style downpour. I crept along at 20 MPH, hoping I wouldn't run into the truck in front of me, which didn't have its lights on. The rain let up as I got closer to St. George, but it was still pretty blustery. The tiny island is very close to sea level. The two main roads were effectively causeways in many spots due to the downpour.

St. George Island

I puttered around, checking out the one or two places I could drive toward, but always having to back out using someone's driveway. There weren't many people around, but those that were gave me some looks. I'm guessing they don't get a lot of visitors.

I also stopped at Piney Point Landing, just back over the bridge heading away from the island. There are fishing lures and line caught in the electrical lines that were waving madly in the wind like lost holiday decorations. At this point I was soaked through and decided to do what any sane traveler would do: I Googled area bookstores.

After spending some time in Leonardtown (buying two books, because I have so much space in my car, of course) and eating a completely boring Mexican lunch, I went back across the peninsula to Calvert Cliffs State Park in Lusby.

Red Trail to Calvert Cliffs

There's a 2-mile trail down to the cliffs from a small park near the main highway. I took the red trail, which promised the quickest walk to the beach. When the tide is out you can find fossils on the beach.

Here's where we get into snakes. I am 100% freaked out by them, despite a childhood of handling and loving the harmless Garter snakes around my home. When I am walking through dripping, unfamiliar woods, the loud buzz of unknown insects blocking out the sound of anything else (SNAKES, for example), and headed toward an unknown destination, every single tree root is a giant, slithering, poisonous predator waiting to bite my leg repeatedly until I die a slow, agonizing death far from any help.

Potentially Snake-infested Waters of the Red Trail

My preoccupation with snakes notwithstanding, the walk itself was truly beautiful. The path meandered through trees and shrubs, giving out onto a boardwalk along the swamp. The water was clear and filled with lily pads. I saw a whole bunch of turtles, many ducks, a dozen frogs, a heron or two, a blue-tailed skink, and some fish. I was looking so hard for the snake that was going to kill me that I actually nearly missed it, yelping "SNAKE!" as I saw a very fat dark tail slither off into the grass, escaping my path. After a full-body shudder and a quick recovery, I walked as fast as I could to get the heck off of that boardwalk.

High Tide, Calvert Cliffs

High tide was in full effect, but I still managed to poke around a bit for shells and things when I got to the cliffs.

Calvert Cliffs

The cliffs are pretty much hands off since they're eroding badly. The striations in the sediment were gorgeous - red to black and every hue in between.

Calvert Cliffs Access Road

On the way back I took the access road, huffing and puffing up and down steep hills. The road was wide and full of gorgeous, bright green acorns scattered everywhere.

Calvert Cliffs Flotsam & Jetsam